Lately, cases of mental health have been on a steady rise in workplaces. It has become too much to an extent it affects work output, employer-employee relations, and worker’s health. This has led employers to design programs that promote mental health at work. However, for such programs to work, you need to develop an all-inclusive wellness plan with backing from directors, HR, health and safety managers, and all managers at large.
This article tackles how employers benefit from an effective health and wellbeing program. For more information on this subject, continue reading!
1. Wellness Plans Decrease Absenteeism.
According to research commissioned by Harvard researchers to look into the connection between workplace wellness and absenteeism- one outcome stood out among the others. It was clear, all worksites that featured effective wellbeing programs had reduced absenteeism compared to those without. The following occurrences were part of the highlighted outcome:
- Workers who practice good health and wellness record low absenteeism
- Workers with less stress or can control their stress levels have lower absenteeism
- Workers who have their glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels in check have lower absenteeism.
- Workers who are in good body shape have lower absenteeism compared to those who are overweight.
In addition, an excellent, effective wellness plan leads to cost savings, according to Harvard researchers, who compared the ROI of a wellness program and its cost implication concerning absenteeism. The research showed that a company does not reduce absenteeism only; it also saves $2.73 on every dollar spent on the wellness plan. This is a 6 to 1 return on investment.
Wellness programs improve an employee’s health,
which could contribute to absenteeism if neglected. It also boosts employee’s morale and makes them always want to be present at work.
2. Lowers Health Care Costs
With wellness plans, they educate employees on wellness topics. These include physical health, mental health such as depression and anxiety, addiction to drugs or alcohol, or anything else that can affect productivity.
It also helps prevent illnesses and diseases from creeping up on an employee. For example, wellness programs help prevent an employee from getting under the weather through wellness screenings like routine physicals and wellness check-ups. Again, they encourage employees to take greater responsibility for their health and wellness.
In 2001, Harvard put over 100 different research papers under review. The study was about the financial implication on worksite wellbeing programs. Through the research, it was evident that reduction in healthcare costs depended on the program’s effectiveness. For instance, having occasional lunch and nutrition lessons or biometric screening is not enough to reduce healthcare costs.
Instead, an employer should implement a comprehensive wellness program at work. Doing so improves behaviours among employees and eventually reduces healthcare costs. Almost all the 100 research studies showed a positive return on investment (ROI).
3. Improve Morale and Loyalty Among Employees
There has been tremendous change in the working environment and shifts in culture. Technology, social media, wellness programs, and wellness groups drive this change. And now more than ever, workers are more stressed out than ever before because of changing work patterns and increasing workload.
A wellness plan triggers positive behaviour changes, which result in cost savings for employers. Apart from that, it increases morale and loyalty among employees. This further motivates, improves employment experience, and boosts productivity at work.
If you are familiar with Maslow’s needs hierarchy, then you are aware the essential needs are at the bottom of this pyramid. These include basic things such as shelter, water, food, social interactions, among others. In the middle, the hierarchy shows things people or employees would like to have after meeting the basic needs. Unfortunately, not every employee achieves these higher needs, and as a result, their lives are not rewarding.
Thankfully, an effective wellness plan helps fill the gap an employee could not fill in the pyramid. It makes them feel respected, trusted, and their success matters. Plus, if you allow employees to express their creativity and solve problems, they feel appreciated. This improves their morale, self-esteem, and productivity.
4. Reduces Case of Compensation and Disability Claims
A wellness program helps the employee-employer relationship to stay strong and supportive. It reduces conflicts and compensation claims from workers who get injured while on duty. Plus, it allows workers to be aware of their responsibility and encourages them to prevent accidents and injuries. By doing so, it helps reduce unexpected costs arising from compensation claims.
On the same note, an effective wellness plan reduces disability-related costs. How? You ask. Well, it enhances wellness awareness, which helps reduce incidences of disability causing accidents. It also encourages employees to understand their body composition and wellness status. As a result, employees become more aware of what to do if they get sick. It can be self-care or seeking medical attention as soon as possible if the situation is complex.
In a study conducted by Zoe Consulting Inc on medical claims based on healthcare spending, compensation, and disability. The following finding was part of the outcome:
- Wellness programs in workplaces save an average of $2,554 in compensation claims and $451from claims related to short-term disability per employee.
- Employers with an effective wellness plan experienced an average of six per cent reduction in annual medical costs.
- Over three-quarters of participants in the wellness program recorded a decrease in their health risk levels
- Employees with core conditions such as asthma, chronic obstructive lung disease, coronary heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension yielded an average annual medical cost reduction of about 13.5 per cent.
In summary, the study serves as a beacon for industry leaders to emulate and personalize wellbeing programs in their worksites.
5. Improves Employee Productivity
An effective wellness plan can help improve employee productivity. Although it may sound strange, it is actually true to a greater extent. For a start, a wellness program equals fewer sick days, which means less downtime. It also helps promote a holistic work environment.
In essence, such programs have a positive impact on productivity in various ways. For instance, they help improve morale, self-esteem, and work efficiency, making employees feel better about themselves.
As an employer, you should be aware that an employee’s productivity is three hours at most in a day. This is according to a study published on voucher cloud. Therefore, one of your business goals is to understand how wellness initiatives boost productivity because it helps you design programs that will enhance output.
Also, a study carried out by the University of California Riverside concluded companies that operated a reliable wellness program in their worksites had more productive workers. The research further found all employees who were part of the program improved productivity by an average of one entire workday in a month.
6. Help Improve Recruitment and Retention
Although there is no study or research to back this theory up, the fact remains. Many factors influence a worker to accept a job offer. Even though a good salary offer helps persuade, other benefits like wellness plans and work environments attract new workers and keep existing ones.
Evidence strongly suggests that employers who offer wellness programs have a competitive advantage over those businesses without such amenities. Creating these kinds of perks for your team members takes time, effort, and financial investment, but the benefits are worth it in attracting job seekers and engaging current employees (to stay).
Let’s, for example, take a corporation that offers a wellness program with benefits packages like a free gym membership, no or low insurance premiums, regular medical checks, and an onsite health clinic. How does that sound? Of course, it’s great. Such an entity is bound to attract outstanding talent and have a high chance of retaining its best workforce.
7. Reduces Stress at Work
Stress is when a person feels anxious, worried, tense, or unhappy about their lot in life. As an employer, having such an employee is not suitable for your business operations. Why? A stressed person is likely to be less productive at work because of constant worries and low concentration. Also, stress leads to unnecessary sick days, poor health and high employee turnover.
A wellness plan will help reduce stress by helping the employee cope with stressful life situations. That’s why it is essential to make wellness plans available for your employees. Doing so will help combat stress within your workforce and will result in improved productivity and performance.
An effective wellness plan at work is a program that helps employees remain healthy, happy and productive to meet their wellness goals. It aims to maintain employee wellness and protect them from harmful things such as stress and health hazards in their workplaces while providing facilities for physical activities.
It also helps the company create a great culture of wellness, good health, and positivity. The benefits are endless, and once employees get engaged with the wellness program.
The wellness program is a success if all employees follow all policies and feel motivated towards work. So it’s important as an employer, you ensure the wellness programs you design incorporate and cater for every employee.
If you are struggling to come up with a wellness plan, if you have a limited amount of staff that can assist, or you are on a budget, see my One Year Wellness Plan Programme. It is basically a done-for-you-plan that can easily be implemented.